On Cultural Conditioning 2011-09-12 14:17:20
1) Cultural Conditioning is the social process in which authority figures such as parents, professors, politicians, religious leaders, peers, and the media define our cultural values, beliefs, ethical systems, and ultimately the way we perceive ourselves in the world.
2) Cultural Conditioning can prevent critical thinking:
+ One who has not been exposed to other cultures might assume that their cultural way of being is the norm, and that anything that is NOT like their own is interpreted as strange, absurd, or possibly a threat. Essentially, they become ethnocentric and perceive one's way of being as "the right way". Naturally, this leads to unfounded conclusions and biases against other ways of being.
+ Once those biases and unfounded conclusions are rationalized in the conservative mind, it can lead to all types of societal phobia's that can cause harm to a great number of people. (Homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, racism).
3) How Cultural Conditioning can be avoided:
+ We need to be humble. We need to recognize that nobody should claim more than one actually knows. There isn't one person that knows everything.
+ We have to have courage to fairly address new viewpoints, ideas, or beliefs. We have to realize that some of our ideas, beliefs or viewpoints might seem absurd to others.
+ We have to be genuinely emphatic towards other peoples way of being. We should take the time to fully understand other's people beliefs along with imaginatively putting ourselves in the place of others.
+ We should treat all viewpoint similarly. We should listen to all different perspectives with a fair mind and not quickly strike out those beliefs that run against our own.
What do you guys think?